The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute has graduates world wide. Students have graduated from Permaculture Design Courses, Teacher Training Courses, Permaculture in Precarious Places Courses, and have received Merit-based Permaculture Diplomas.
Merit Diplomas are awarded to people who’ve worked consistently and ethically through permaculture, and who are often pioneers or innovators in their country or in new fields of permaculture. The Institute is particularly keen to support permaculture practitioners in countries where, for various reasons, it’s not easy to obtain a diploma (due to language, lack of an Institute, or cost).
Our first Diploma Graduates (pictured above) were Didier Assama Alain (Cameroon) and Lachlan Mckenzie (Darwin/East Timor).
Our Diploma Graduates
Didier Assama Alain:
Alain Didier from Cameroon is a fervent permaculture practitioner. A graduate of Robyn Francis he introduced permaculture to the Guides and Scouts in Cameroon. In many countries in Africa, the Guiding/Scouting movement is a source of non-formal education for young people: learning skills, working co-operatively and learning self-reliance, so to Didier it was natural to add permaculture experience and recognition to all their other skills. The young people learnt permaculture at their meetings and camps through trainers who had also gone through the course.
By recognizing the ability of children and young people to educate adults in today’s world and by using the network of Scouts and Guides, Didier has taken permaculture into most of the villages and towns of Cameroon.
Award for Innovative Work and Outreach
In 2010, Lachlan McKenzie was awarded his Permaculture Diploma at the Australian Permaculture Convergence in Kuranda, North Queensland, for his substantial body of work in East Timor and Indonesia. He lived and worked in East Timor and collaborated with a team from Permatil to produce a Permaculture Manual for the Tropics in three languages. His diploma submission is a detailed study what is required to produce such a manual.
Awarded for Rural Development
View Lachlan’s Diploma Submission here
Alfred Decker’s Merit Diploma for Education and Community Development was awarded for establishing a permaculture website and a teaching team, as well as community outreach from Barcelona. In a short time he had 6000 people on the Barcelona website and a team teaching PDCs several times a year in Barcelona. His work is a model for others working from cities.
Awarded for Education and Urban Permaculture
View Alfred’s Diploma Submission here
Tina Lymberis in Greece, lived with economic collapse and the unemployment that followed it. She considered permaculture the key to rebuilding a degraded country and a strategy for offering intelligent meaningful work. Over two years she set out to teach multiple short courses while producing the first text book in permaculture for Greeks. Alone she translated, verified, found designers and publishers and pre-sold The Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture to enable permaculture to reach a wider audience.
Awarded for Education and Media
View Tina’s Diploma Submission here
Diploma Recipients at the 2017 International Permaculture Convergence in Hyderabad, India
Left to Right: Chisa Uetsuki, Rowe Morrow, Eunice Lisboa Neves, Sarah Queblatin, Elena Gogou and Daniel Sya (Marguerite Kahrl unable to be present)
The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute conferred six Merit Diplomas in Permaculture to PDC graduates from the Philippines, Japan, Italy, Portugal, Malaysia, and Greece at the International Permaculture Conference in Hyderabad in 2017, in front of around 60 colleagues from as many countries.
Eunice Lisboa Neves:
Eunice Lisboa Neves from Portugal completed a foundational piece of research covering 2-3 intensive years into what it is that permaculture pioneers designed and lived. She examined two ethical organic farms and compared them with the work of 8 permaculture practitioners. Her work is detailed, and is of great usefulness in measuring the success of permaculture. She looked at variations and common factors, and laid down a foundation stone for further in-depth study of permaculture sites.
View Eunice’s Diploma Submission here
Marguerite Kahrl is an Italian artist awarded the first Merit Diploma for Permaculture Design (Art). Her work has been instrumental in raising awareness of land degradation and climate change.
View Marguerite’s Diploma Submission here
Sarah Queblatin from the Philippines has done ground-breaking work with Green Releaf to assist victims of typhoons and displaced people in Marawi (500,000 displaced people when Duarte bombed it). Her work has established that the strategies and skills of permaculture, e.g. seed saving, cleaning water, making compost, building houses, and initiating a local economy, are those most required in an integrated disaster response and recovery program.
View Sarah’s Diploma Submission here
Chisa Uetsuki has worked for almost 30 years introducing permaculture in Japan. She translated the permaculture book ‘The Outdoor Classroom’ and has held regular short courses and seminars. She has met weekly with local residents on her model permaculture garden and this small group has worked on permaculture outreach. She has also worked with people affected by the tsunami and the fall-out from the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Awarded for Community Development and Outreach
View Chisa’s Diploma Submission here
Elena Gogou from Greece sent letters from refugee camps where she was initiating permaculture strategies. Her Merit Diploma throws a permaculture perspective onto refugee camps, both for their problems and potential solutions.
View Elena’s Diploma Submission here
Daniel Sya from Malaysia received his Merit Diploma for his work in Malaysia with community gardens and youth. He used electronic media to engage young people and has started making videos and films.
View Daniel’s Diploma Submission here
Eric Ydais has been awarded a Diploma in Permaculture Design for significant contribution to French permaculture.
Since completing his PDC, Eric has worked unremittingly in permaculture through teaching and also upgrading his knowledge and experience. Eric has become a significant person in his work with other permaculture teachers, and, the wider community of practitioners in southern France from Italy to Spain and Portugal.
In addition to teaching permaculture design courses, Eric has been a motivator and support of other teachers starting in permaculture and those who are somewhat established. Eric has brought together a group of teachers for mutual sharing of knowledge and understanding to extend and upscale permaculture. That a group of highly motivated and now skilled trainers exists in his region is largely due to Eric. In addition Eric works across boundaries with Spanish and other teachers.
Awarded for Community Building and Education
View Eric’s Diploma Submission here
The Merit Diploma of Permaculture Design was awarded to Carolyn Nuttall for her commitment to, and work in bringing permaculture to primary schools and, children in general. Carolyn was a pioneer in this field. She began this endeavour by practicing permaculture with her Grade 5 and 6 classes at Holland Park Primary School in Queensland, Australia. She was awarded 2nd place in the State Environmental award for Schools for this work.
It was from this experience and her permaculture design certificate learning that Carolyn was able to write her first book which is primarily a syllabus. This was well received and she and Janet Millington went on to write a second book which is widely read and consulted by primary school teachers across the world. It is translated into several languages. It is still in print.
Despite a life-threatening illness, Carolyn continued to work and think about children and the value for them of permaculture and how it could form the basis of their curriculum in primary school. She developed worksheets for classes.
Carolyn has been widely consulted by teachers and was invited to Europe to carry out workshops for teachers in several European countries. Although now retired she continues to engage with how children can learn permaculture and the power of it in their lives. The European Children in Permaculture network, building partly on Carolyn’s work, is probably the strongest children’s permaculture group globally.
View Carolyn’s Diploma Submission here
The Merit Diploma in Permaculture Design was awarded to Meg McGowan for her extensive and original integration of permaculture into her teaching, her methodology and her local community. She is one of first teachers to encourage her students to move from ‘me’ to ‘we’.
She teaches all branches of permaculture from kitchen gardens, to farming to social prosperity and then integrates it all into her community. She has developed a path for many others to follow in which permacutlure does not remain the individual property of a single learner but takes that learning into the neighbourhood, high-rise building or local town and shares it there.
Meg has developed several means whereby her students can access a permaculture design course (PDC) through non-financial means, embedding ‘fair share’ into the PDC. Her economic arrangements are important in demonstrating that permaculture teaching need not be tied to the usual monetary model and that continuing its impacts beyond the course time is probably the most important issue.
View Meg’s Diploma Submission here